Jelly Roll Morton, Inventor Of Jazz, Online Book by Alan Lomax

with Some sheet music & lyrics.

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The Boys in the Bands
oldtlmers who had stayed on in Storyville and grown with the music? Bolden was thirty-five years dead. Perez was dead. Tio was dead. Keppard had drank himself to death. Glenny was old and "getting mindless." Carey, Oliver, Baquet, Tony Jack­son—the list of the dead was longer than that of the living.
"You might talk to Louis deLisle Nelson/' someone said. "Old Big Eye about the first one play hot clarinet. You find him at the Arteezan Hall, but I hear he's mighty sick. .. ."
It made you feel like running all the way. The Arteezan Hall —the Arteezan Hall? Was it a secret order or an outlandish Creole name?
"You standing right in front of it, mister," the young fellow jerked his thumb toward a weathered gray building. There above the sagging door was the dim insigne—a muscled arm holding a hammer, below this, a square-rule, and, underneath, the words ARTISANS HALL.
The hall where the artisans—carpenters, plasterers, iron­workers, tin-smiths—had met to deliberate and then to dance was quiet and deserted. The floor sagged and the gavel marks on the rostrum had gathered dust. Presently, a slight brown woman peeped out of the inner door.
"Mr. Nelson is mighty sick," she said, "but 1 reckon you can come up if you don't stay long."
She led the way up the bare, poor stairs to the bare, poor room, where, flanked by medicine bottles, the old man lay upon his hard pillows. The door closed behind the woman. Big Eye Louis and I stared at each other.
"What you want—history?" he muttered. "Well, I know it.7'
"Were you acquainted with Jelly Roll Morton?"
"Why I started him," he snapped, "i started him. Round about nineteen eight or nine.
"When Jelly Roll came around the district he knew note music—that's the way he started—started by messing around with piano scores. Course, he wasn't no real reader," Louis wanted to say nothing pleasant about this rival. "Jelly was just